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CONCERT: Hailu Mergia (ET)
CONCERT: Hailu Mergia (ET)

Sun, 27 Oct


Plan B

CONCERT: Hailu Mergia (ET)

Doors 6 PM 18+ (13+ w/ guardian)

Time & Location

27 Oct 2024, 19:00

Plan B, Norra Grängesbergsgatan 26B, 214 50 Malmö, Sweden

About the event

The story of Hailu Mergia is one of survival and a late justice for years spent in exile: The maestro, once the leader of 1970s Addis Ababa's favorite dance band Walias, emigrated to the US after the Mengistu regime came into political power at home in Ethiopia. After running several businesses he ended up driving a cab at Washington's Dulles Airport, while still practicing his keyboard chops on the back seat of his vehicle during downtimes. In 2013, Hailu returned to the live music circuit after the blogger-turned-label-owner Brian Shimkovitz of Awesome Tapes From Africa had found him to reissue his 1986 unusual, multi-tracked solo effort "His Classical Instrument." "If Cluster had been from Ethiopia instead of Germany, this is probably about what they would have sounded like," wrote Pitchfork, celebrating the album. Helming a trio with a badass rhythm section, he played numerous sold-out club shows and appeared at prominent festivals. It is safe to say that the revitalized interest in Mergia's laid-back Ethio grooves culminated after he released his comeback album "Lala Belu" early in 2018: The composer was featured in leading newspapers like the New York Times and The Guardian and played more than 70 shows all across Europe in a timespan of no more than 14 months. In March, Lala Belu's successor Yene Mircha will hit the streets and easily prove that, at 73, this seasoned musician still has a few amazing tricks up his sleeve.

Listen to "Lala Belu"

Listen to "Yene Mircha"

Extensive Hailu Mergia features from The Guardian

and The New York Times:

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